As part of my COETAIL readings for the week I was directed to several documents on the International Standards for Technology Education (ISTE). ISTE has created standards that both students (Student NETS) and teachers (Teacher NETs) should strive to meet when using technology. After reviewing the standards, the COETAIL instructors asked us to contemplate who should be responsible for teaching these standards and if the Teacher NETS should be used as part of teacher evaluations.
Who is responsible for teaching technology skills?
Everyone should be responsible for using technology within the classroom because technology is a tool that can be used across the curriculum. However, the question of who should teach students how to use this tool is another matter all together. The ideal situation would be to have a technology coordinator who works collaboratively with teachers and administrators to determine what skills or understanding are needed. The technology coordinator would take responsibility for teaching new tools and strategies using the technology either through inquiry or explicit instructions depending on the situation. Once the students have the skills needed, then it is the responsibility of the teacher to ensure that the skill is used effectively and meaningfully within his or her classroom.
Should the Teacher NETs be part of teacher evaluation?
I would personally prefer them to be included as part of my evaluation. However, my situation as a teacher in a private international school is not that common and while I struggle to justify a blanket yeah or nay, I can’t. There are many issues that education needs to overcome before any sort of evaluation on a teacher’s use of technology can be used:
- Standardized Tests: Most schools have some form of standardized test to evaluate how a school is doing in various areas. However, I have yet to see one that accurately reflects a student’s competence in their ability to use technology effectively.
- Resources: Different schools have different resources. While the ISTE standards are fairly broad and are able to be met in different ways, schools need to ensure that they have adequate resources before adding them to their teacher evaluations.
- Support: As a school community a school needs to ensure that they provide support to all teachers to ensure that they can meet teacher NETs, otherwise their inclusion would only set the teacher up for failure.
There may be other issues that schools may need to address before implementing technology as an aspect of their teacher evaluation. Before including technology as an aspect of evaluation all stakeholders within the school should be consulted to ensure that the tools, support, and training are in place to ensure that teachers are able to succeed.
Responsibility by PaDumBumPsh found on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed
Using the interactive whiteboard in the classroom by Dell’s Official Flickr Page found on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed